Rauner Criticizes Democrats for Lawsuit Over Pay Delay

Dec 9, 2016

Illinois' wealthy governor is calling for state legislators to go without pay. 

State legislators last received paychecks in June.

That's according to the comptroller's office, which is responsible for the delay.  The comptroller has put elected officials' pay in a queue, along with $10 billion of other overdue bills Illinois can't afford to immediately pay.

A group of Democratic representatives are suing to reinstate their monthly income.

Gov. Bruce Rauner criticized them in a video message.

"If they won't do a balanced budget they shouldn't be paid first. No budget no pay."

Critics - including the legislators behind the suit -- point out that's easy for Rauner to say, given that he made almost $188 million last year.

While Rauner's message might sound great to frustrated taxpayers, courts have already ruled withholding legislators' pay to be unconstitutional.

But whether it's legal to delay their paychecks because there isn't enough money in the bank? That's what a Cook County court has to decide.